Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Story 143: Day of Days

            “I’m so tired and I want to give up,” she said to her co-worker during a brief pause in their assembly line – the gears had gotten stuck again.
            “Give up on what?”  He asked.
            “My life!  I mean, what’s the point of all this?  I literally do the same exact thing, minute by minute, hour by hour, all day long, up until the moment the whistle blows and I get to go to the diner and serve grumpy customers all night long!  That’s it for me, practically every day!  No rest, no advancement, no savings, no extra space in my apartment to maybe squeeze in a chair, no car to drive myself anywhere, no food that’s actually good for me, and no health insurance to help with my rising blood pressure and possible cancer!  Why bother making a living when it’s the thing that’s killing me?!”
            “That sure sounds pretty bleak when you put it like that.”
            “Yeah, well I’m done!  I’m done working myself straight into my grave just to make money for everybody else – I want my day!”
            “Which one, Saturday?”
            “No, you fool, my day!  The one day where I can do whatever I want, when I want it, money’s no object, time and distance mean nothing, the works!  I want the freedom of being a kid again with the economic and legal mobility of an adult!”
            He thought about this.  “Sure, OK.”
            “OK what?”
            “You can have your day.”
            “Yeah all right, says who, my personal genie?”
            “I guess you can call me that.”
            “You know, you’ve never asked me for anything before.”
            “You never told me that I’ve been working next to a real live genie for the past seven years!”
            “Guess it never came up.  That one’s on me, then.”
            She sputtered a bit then said, “All right, I want to start off with at least $150 billion – ”
            “I also forgot to mention that you only get the one wish.”
            “That’s not fair!”
            “It is what it is, you want it or not?”
            “Yes, I want it!  Please.”
          “All right: you get one day to do whatever you want, kid freedom with adult mobility, no monetary or temporal limits.  Want to go to Vegas?”
            “No, everyone goes to Vegas, that’s boring!”
            “Suit yourself.”
            She woke up, extremely relaxed, in a luxurious hotel room – when she opened the curtains, the sun was rising over a warm tropical ocean.
            “Sighhhhhhhhh…..”  She basked in that glow for half an hour.
         After lounging over a satisfactory and heart-healthy breakfast on the beach, she flew a time-suspending plane to her favorite amusement park that she would visit often when she was a kid: there were no lines, so she was able to ride all the rides before 10:00 a.m.  She then took several other time-suspending flights for a quick cruise down the Nile, popped in for lunch at a Parisian cafĂ©, rode a slide off of the Great Wall of China, and checked in on the penguins in Antarctica to see how they were doing.  She made her way back to her hometown in the USA to take in a mindless blockbuster at the local cinema (restored to its former glory), then paused to fall on her knees, raise her arms in the air, and scream “Arrrrrggggghhhhh!!!” at the setting sun before she hiked the Alps and had a sumptuous dinner at a Peruvian restaurant actually in Peru.  She spent the day’s final’s hours in the North Pole watching the Aurora Borealis shimmer across the infinite stars in the cosmos, then lay down next to Santa’s Workshop to make one last snow angel before closing her eyes to drift off to sleep.
            Her eyes snapped open instead and she hopped a time-suspending plane at 11:59 p.m. in her current time zone: why should her day ever end if all she had to return to was suffering and futility?  She rode that plane to infinity, constantly crossing the International Date Line to the previous day and ensuring that her day never ended as her adventures continued onward.
            Her co-worker shook his head to himself as he resumed his work on the assembly line: “It’s so rare that they find a loophole – she's earned it.”

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